Monday, 22 November 2004

Foundry Paint System - first impressions

So [I bought a few sets]( of the [Foundry Paint System]( paints and promised to do a review on them once I had used them. A promise is a promise, so here's my first impressions after using the paints.

In short, I like them, more than I thought I would. It's not that they are significantly better than [Vallejo]( (my preferred paint until now) simply as paints - they certainly are not the better of Vallejo in areas like coverage, pigmentation or ease of application. In fact, in many of these areas, I would prefer Vallejo over Foundry. As paints _tout court_, the Foundry paints are good, but they are not significantly better than anybody else.

What I do like about the Foundry Paint System is what makes it a _System_, no matter the slightly presumptuous sound that may have. It's the fact that the paints come in sets of three -- shade, base colour and highlight -- that makes this line of paint so good. Despite the advantages of mixing the highlight colours from the base colour I [stated earlier](, it remains a somewhat hit-and-miss affair, which you no longer have with the FPS. This is reason enough for me to gradually make the switch to the Foundry Paint System: you always have your highlight colour available, even if it is a colour someone else chose for you. And it is the highlight colour that goes a long way to making or breaking a three-layer paint job.

Additionally, just painting with the paints and seeing them face-to-pigment has taught me something which I had not appreciated before: the shade colours are actually fairly light in value, corresponding more or less to the lightness of the base colours I am accustomed to use. Part of what makes a Foundry three layer paint job look the way it does is just that: the shade colour is already fairly light, which brings about a good contrast between it and the black prime coat (black priming becomes essential for this). I had not appreciated this before, but I can already see me migrating towards this style a bit more (which will be automatic with the FPS anyway).

In short, if anyone is looking for a Christmas present for me, pallettes 3, 4 and 10 are next on my list :).


  1. I agree with your comments completely, except that in the sets I bought I found that the 'distance' between some of the three shades was too much. But generally, yes, nice idea except for the price and the need to buy colours you don't necessarily want.

  2. Bart
    Now this is real fame, to get Sir Mike 'Sumo' Siggins to comment on your site! Mike, what about the tantalsing remark in your last WI article about the end of the hobby as we know it?

  3. Wrg to Mike's comment on the 'distance' between colours in some of the sets he bought: for many of the sets I have seen, I get that same cringing feeling when I see the highlight colour. I have been finding out however, that you can get away with quite a bit of contrast in a classic Foundry paint job, so that a large distance in itself is not bad _a priori_. The tricky bit is to reproduce this level of contrast over the entire figure, which is difficult to do if the distance between colours varies between sets, and especially if you use a mix of Vallejo and Foundry, as I do.